Salmonella Infection In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

American Pitbull puppy shit on grass field

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Salmonella infection, or salmonellosis, is a condition in dogs that is caused by salmonella bacteria. It usually results in symptoms such as diarrhea, but it can lead to more serious conditions. Though the bacteria is common, it is unusual for it to cause disease in healthy canines. It can, however, spread between species, including humans, other pets, and even reptiles and birds. The salmonella bacteria can be found in raw or undercooked meat, contaminated pet food, or saliva and feces from another infected animal. If you see the signs of salmonella infection in your dog, consult your veterinarian right away. Here is what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for salmonellosis in dogs.

Symptoms Of Salmonella Infection In Dogs

4 1/2 year old black lays down with ice pack on his head

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Some dogs may experience no symptoms even though they are infected with salmonella. Instead, they become carriers of the disease without being strongly affected by it. Others will show symptoms within 72 hours of becoming infected. Here are some signs that your dog might have salmonellosis.

  • Diarrhea, sometimes with mucus in the stool
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or anorexia
  • Dehydration
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Skin disease
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Shock
  • Miscarriage in pregnant dogs

It is important to consult your veterinarian to address these symptoms, as they can lead to more serious conditions like gastroenteritis or sepsis. Generally, the main symptom of salmonellosis is acute diarrhea.

Causes Of Salmonella Infection In Dogs

dog licking hamberger from table

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Salmonella infection in dogs is uncommon, as most dogs’ immune systems are strong enough to fight the bacteria off, and their digestive systems are mostly able to handle passing it. Dogs with weaker immune systems are at greater risk for infection. Puppies and senior dogs are more prone to salmonellosis for this reason, as well as dogs that are taking antibiotics that may cause an imbalance of healthy bacteria in the gut.

Salmonella bacteria can be found in raw or undercooked meat and eggs, as well as pet food that has been contaminated or wet food that hasn’t been refrigerated. It is transferred through the feces and saliva of other infected animals, which is one of many reasons you should never allow your dog to come into contact with the droppings of another dog or animal.

Treatments For Salmonella Infection In Dogs

Chihuahua is drinking from a bowl of water.

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Most cases of salmonella infection in dogs are mild, and the only symptom may be acute diarrhea. These cases will often be fought off by a dog’s immune system after a short time, though dogs will need a steady supply of fresh, clean water to stay hydrated after losing fluids from diarrhea or vomiting.

In more serious cases, your veterinarian may hospitalize your dog and provide intravenous fluid. If a blood infection or sepsis occurs, your dog may need a plasma or blood transfusion. Veterinarians may also prescribe steroids that can prevent shock in severe cases, as well. Sometimes a vet will advise withholding food for 48 hours and keeping a dog separate from other pets to avoid spreading the infection. In the majority of salmonella infections, adult dogs recover just fine.

Has your dog ever had salmonellosis? How did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!